Topic: Immigration

What's different? At first glance, not much.

2008: The Guardian Ethos
I am America's Maritime Guardian.
I serve the citizens of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am a Guardian.
We are the United States Coast Guard.
2011: The Coast Guard Ethos
I am a Coast Guardsman.
I serve the people of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman.
We are the United States Coast Guard.

Wait a minute. Whom do they serve?

"Males of non-western background"

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Apparently the Norwegians have coined a new politically correct term.

Claiming to have fired in self defense, an American border guard on duty fatally shot a Mexican citizen trying to cross into our country. In response the U.S. Attorney General is conducting ... a civil rights investigation?!

Federal officials confirmed that a civil-rights investigation was opened into the shooting of Hernández, who died on the Mexican side of the river from a bullet wound to the head.


Civil-rights investigations can look into crimes committed by law enforcement officers in the course of their duties.

...

The video shows an encounter that begins when a group of men try to cross a border fence near the railroad Black Bridge, just west of the Paso del Norte Bridge connecting Juárez to Downtown El Paso.

A Border Patrol agent is seen arriving on a bicycle, and rocks are allegedly being thrown at the agent while he tries to detain a man on the U.S. edge of the river. The agent is seen pointing his handgun. Three gunshots are heard.

Hernández can then be seen lying on the ground at the foot of the Black Bridge on the Mexican side of the mostly dry river. It is not shown if Hernandez was throwing rocks.

Lionel HutzThere's no way he was in America when he was shot, and then ducked back across the border before dying. People with mortal gunshot wounds to the head aren't exactly renowned for climbing fences or crossing rivers.

The Department of Justice should definitely investigate the shooting, since the agent may have committed a crime and/or a human rights violation. But how can Holder accuse the agent of violating the dead kid's federal civil rights? The dead kid was not an American. He was a Mexican. In Mexico. Does 42 USC § 1983 cover him too?! Apparently our top cop learned the law from Lionel Hutz.

I move for a bad court thingy.

Now this is hardball:

Your turn, Los Angeles.

Let's see the open borders lobby call her a racist redneck nativist hatemonger.


People like Gabriella are largely responsible for making America the best country in the world. Our common sense policy should be to secure our borders, put pressure on illegals to self-deport, and expand legal immigration with extra incentives for highly skilled/educated immigrants. It's not rocket science.

On assimilation by pronunciation

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Mark Krikorian's absolutely right. Americanizing the pronunciation of one's name should be high on the priority list for immigrants arriving in America. My immigrant parents and grandparents did it: my name has an Americanized pronunciation.

Is Mike Huckabee a liberal?

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Joe Carter wants to know. My contributions to the debate:

Joe Carter was the research director for Mike Huckabee's campaign until a few weeks ago. Here's hoping he responds to the charges before South Carolina Republican primary voters run out of time to base their votes on something more than emotional warmth toward a fellow Christian.

On January 2nd, Hugh Hewitt posted a message from Arkansas resident David Thompson, who offers seven detailed arguments against any conservative Christian supporting Mike Huckabee as the Republican nominee for president.

I've reproduced the text in full below, in the hope that my fellow conservative Christians in South Carolina and elsewhere will think twice before voting for Mike Huckabee.

A Plea from Arkansas: Christian Conservatives Need to Take a Closer Look at Mike Huckabee's Record as Governor

by David Thompson

As a conservative, evangelical, politically-active father of four in Arkansas I believe it is imperative for like-minded voters to become more familiar with the Mike Huckabee that just completed 10 years as our governor. I realize it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe during a campaign, so I've tried to include links to published stories, with most coming from years past when the events noted were taking place.

For those who don't know much about me, I attend a very conservative evangelical church in Central Arkansas that includes some other politically active members (past/present elected officials, lobbyists, candidates, etc), and our family currently homeschools our young children. Since 1996, I have been heavily involved in numerous Republican campaigns in Arkansas at all levels (even managing a few). I have also served as vice chairman of the Republican committee in Arkansas' largest county. Yet I don't know of a single person in these circles who is supporting Huckabee for President - although I do know many that are definitely not supporting him. Of course, this is anecdotal evidence, but consider that Huckabee just finished serving 10 years as our governor (and I am sure there are many Republicans in Arkansas who are supporting him - I just don't know them). The truth is, most conservatives in Arkansas had written him off long before his Presidential bid.

That said, here are 7 key reasons I cannot in good conscience support Mike Huckabee as the Republican nominee for President. This is based on his record here and is not a personal attack - I cannot speak for his or anybody's motives. This list is not the result of intense research - it's based on what I know and have experienced first-hand as a politically-active conservative Arkansan. It's a list I could have given you 6 months or even 2 years ago. And I am not attempting to echo or give validity to any criticism he is now receiving nationally (and I don’t think ALL of it is fair). This is the Mike Huckabee we know.

1) Governor Huckabee did lasting damage to the Republican Party and conservative movement in Arkansas.

It's hard to go after Democrats with a conservative message when your Republican Governor is out front releasing violent criminals, providing state benefits to illegals, pushing tax increases, expanding government spending and programs, and constantly walking an ethical tight-rope (more on each of these items to follow). This tied our party's hands - many conservatives got frustrated, apathy set in, and some quit the fight. In addition:

  • Huckabee insisted on having "his people" controlling the Republican Party campaign organizations that are set up in Arkansas each election cycle. He also insisted that his guy remain as state party chairman when party leaders planned to make a change. The mismanagement and ineptness that followed was so great that the Republican Party plunged into debt and the Federal Election Commission levied the the largest fine ever against a state political party following an investigation of the 2000 and 2002 election cycles. Obviously, this set back the Republican Party of Arkansas for years.
  • When Huckabee started his first full term in 1998, Arkansas had just elected a Republican Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senator, and 2 Republican Congressmen. Upon his leaving office in 2007, Republicans now hold no statewide offices, have no Republicans in the U.S.Senate, and only one Republican Congressman remains.
  • It was often said during Huckabee's term that Arkansas had 3 parties: Republican Party, Democrat Party, and the Huckabee Party.

"He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party in shambles." - Phyllis Schlafly, president of the national Eagle Forum

"His support for taxes split the Republican Party, and damaged our name brand." – Former Arkansas State Representative Randy Minton (R)

"I think if they knew [his record] it would totally de-energize them . . . his policies are just wrong." – Former Arkansas State Senator Jim Holt’s (R) warning for conservatives around the country who think they have found their candidate in Mike Huckabee.


2) Governor Huckabee's non-stop clemencies continually hindered the work of criminal prosecutors and miffed Republicans. The numbers are staggering - over 1,000 clemencies and commutations of criminals as governor. Most people now are familiar with his push to parole convicted rapist Wayne Dumond, who went on to rape and murder a Missouri woman less than a year after his release. But there are many more troubling facts regarding Huckabee’s pattern of releasing violent criminals. While I cannot speak for Huckabee’s motives, it seems clear that he used poor judgment and was reckless with this executive power.

  • Huckabee released more criminals than the combined total of every border state to Arkansas (made up of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana) - even though the combined population of these states is 16 times higher than Arkansas'. He also issued more than double the clemencies of his three predecessors combined.
  • In many cases, Huckabee's actions set loose savage criminals convicted of grisly murders over the passionate objections of prosecutors and victims' families. This American Spectator story details some of these violent cases and explains the resulting difficulties they presented prosecutors working with other victims and their families.
  • Huckabee and his appointees ignored the laws on the books, including the requirement to notify victims' families and explain the reasons for those clemencies. He said to fully explain his reasoning would cost millions of dollars and "take money away from education and Medicaid and other things."
  • A 2004 investigative article by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette found that prisoners had a better chance of being granted clemency by Huckabee if they had a mutual acquaintance, labored at the governor's mansion under a prisoner work program, or a minister intervened on their behalf. Prosecutors say Huckabee was more inclined to release or reduce the sentences of prisoners if he had direct contact with them or was lobbied by those close to him.
  • He often refused to learn the facts of the cases (sometimes not even reading the murderer's own confession), made no attempt to get the police/prosecutor's case files, or even get input from the victims' families before making his decision.
  • The clemency granted to one multiple DUI offender was likely tied to large political contributions from the offender's family, including a soft money political organization run by Huckabee's people.
  • Good summary article

"Last January, after Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, lost his re-election bid, he issued 16 clemencies, and there was a huge outcry. That's how many Huckabee averages per month."Arkansas Leader, (August 11, 2004)

"He seems to believe that granting clemency to murderers, rapists, drunk drivers and other convicted criminals is a part of the everyday affairs of the governor's office rather than something that he should approach cautiously and selectively." – Robert Herzfeld, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney during Huckabee’s tenure

"I know some of the people that Huckabee let loose have reoffended. Some of them we've caught and some of them we haven't caught......I used to be able to tell the families of victims, in all good faith and candor, that it was a rare event when a governor commuted a sentence and let a murderer back out, or a rapist back out or a child molester back out. But I can't do that anymore." - Larry Jegley, longtime Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney

"I felt like Huckabee had more compassion for the murderers than he ever did for the victims." - Elaine Colclasure, co-leader of the Central Arkansas chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.

3) Governor Huckabee's pattern was to ignore immigration laws, often in the name of Christianity.

Huckabee opposed immigration enforcement as governor on a number of fronts. Immigration enforcement groups call Huckabee’s record on immigration "a disaster" and reference him as they guy who "scares the heck" out of them.

  • In 2001, Huckabee’s human services liaison Robert Trevino pushed for legislation to provide driver’s licenses for illegals. It was understood by legislators that he acted with Huckabee's blessing.
  • In 2001, Huckabee opposed a measure to require proof of citizenship to vote.
  • In 2005, Huckabee supported a bill that offered illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates and made them eligible for the same merit-based scholarships to Arkansas state colleges and universities as legal citizens. The bill would have violated federal law and was not enacted by the legislature.
  • In 2005, he opposed a bill that denied some state benefits to illegals and required proof of citizenship to vote (patterned after Arizona’s Prop 200 that has been successful in curtailing illegal immigration in that state). In this story, Huckabee called the measure "un-American….inflammatory….race-baiting and demagoguery." He added that the bill "inflames those who are racist and bigots and makes them think there’s a real problem. But there’s not." He then singled out State Senator Jim Holt, also an openly professing Christian, saying, "I drink a different kind of Jesus juice."
  • In 2005, Huckabee criticized federal agents for a recent crackdown on illegals, saying that it wasn’t fair to the innocent family members of those targeted in the operation. (No word on whether he also opposes raids on other law-breakers who might also have innocent family members affected by the fruits of their illegal activity.)
  • In 2005, Huckabee promoted an "open door" policy on immigration as he addressed the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) national convention in Little Rock. LULAC is a left-leaning group that opposes virtually all measures of immigration enforcement.

"He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor. Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens." - Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year's Senate immigration bill.

"I would hope he could be trusted to secure the borders, but given his track record in Arkansas, I don't see the conservative he has portrayed himself to be in Iowa." - Jake Files, a former Arkansas state representative and current chairman of the Sebastian County Republican Party

4) Governor Huckabee was no friend to fiscal conservatives in Arkansas.

Huckabee’s record on taxes, government spending, and growing government programs was miserable. Basically, when the economy got tough, Huckabee expected families like mine to tighten our budgets in order to help state government meet its spending whims.

  • In 2003, Huckabee called a special session of the legislature to push for a tax increase to make up for spending shortfalls. This led to his signing HB1039, an across the board income tax and tobacco tax increase. Huckabee even refused to consider a Republican proposal to cut spending and use general improvement funds (i.e., legislative pork) to make up for the budget shortfall. Ironically, the same day Huckabee was practically begging the Arkansas legislature to raise taxes (here’s the video), President Bush was also in Little Rock to push for his tax cut plan. (Note: When asked about this video recently, Huckabee gave a misleading response to Fox News, blaming his tax increase plea on a court order. This prompted State Representative Johnny Key, the current Republican Leader in the Arkansas House, to send out a letter correcting the accuracy of Huckabee's statement.)
  • If that weren't enough, Huckabee called a 2nd special legislative session in 2003 to pass a nearly one-cent state sales tax increase. The measure also expanded the sales tax to include previously exempted services (for more information and context, see reason #6 below).
  • During Huckabee’s term, Arkansas showed a net tax increase of $505 million, and the average Arkansan’s tax burden grew from $1,969 to $2,902. Governor Huckabee raised more taxes in 10 years in office than Bill Clinton did in his 12 years.
  • During Huckabee’s 10 years as governor, state spending more than doubled (from $6.6 billion to $16.1 billion), higher education and public schools got big increases, as did social services. Meanwhile, the state added about 8,000 full-time workers to its payroll during that period, a 19% increase (according to the Bureau of Legislative Research).
  • The conservative Cato Institute gave Huckabee an "F" for his final term as governor on its Fiscal Policy Report Card, saying, "Huckabee’s leadership has left taxpayers in Arkansas much worse off." His grade was lower than 15 of the 21 Democrat Governors. His overall grade as governor was a D.

"The main reason for the drop was his insistence on raising taxes at almost every turn throughout his final term." – Cato Institute explaining why Huckabee had dropped from a "D" to an "F" on their Fiscal Policy Report Card.

"[Huckabee] says he’s pro-family. If you’re raising taxes on the families of Arkansas, causing wives to go out and get jobs to make ends meet, that’s not pro-family." - Former Arkansas State Representative Randy Minton (R)

"In the past, he blamed Democrats for raising taxes...We voted for them, but he proposed them." - Arkansas State Senator John Paul Capps, a Democrat

5) Huckabee left a long trail of ethics questions while Governor of Arkansas

This is an area where I think Huckabee does receive some unfair criticism. Some of the ethics charges against him were frivolous and politically motivated. However, it has been concerning for some time just how much the governor accepted in gifts and how he was seemingly always pushing ethical limits.

  • During his tenure, Huckabee accepted 314 gifts valued overall at more than $150,000, according to documents filed with the Arkansas' Secretary of State office.
  • The Huckabees set up wedding registries at local department stores as Mike was leaving office – even though they had been married for 30 years. State ethics laws prohibited Huckabee from receiving gifts of more than $100……but there was an exception for wedding gifts.
  • Judicial Watch, a non-partisan group dedicted to fighting government corruption, listed Huckabee among their Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians of 2007. Huckabee was one of only three Republican politicians to make the list.

6) Huckabee's education record shows him to be an advocate of the "status quo"

The New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association (NEA) has endorsed Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee for the upcoming Primary elections. This is the first time in memory that they have recommended a Republican (in 2004 they endorsed Howard Dean). They likely chose Huckabee because:

  • Huckabee has consistently opposed virtually all proposals for education reform, including school choice vouchers.
  • The former president of Eagle Forum of Arkansas said Huckabee "continued the Hillary Clinton education plan" as our governor.
  • When the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas’ public school funding was "inequitable," Huckabee took the ruling as a mandate to raise taxes in order to once again increase school funding...which he did. (To his credit, however, he also used the opportunity to consolidate some of the school districts in the state - although rural legislators severely watered down the proposal.)

7) Huckabee has very little support for his Presidential bid here in Arkansas

For the most part those in his party who know him best are not supporting him.

  • In October, a University of Arkansas poll showed that, among all Presidential candidates in both parties, only 8% of Arkansans said they were supporting Mike Huckabee.
  • That same week, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that only one-third of Republicans in the Arkansas Legislature said they were supporting their former governor's Presidential bid.
  • After this story, the Huckabee campaign published a list of supporters in his home state. The Arkansas News Bureau then reported that as some of the names on Huckabee's Arkansas endorsement list were used without permission and had to be removed.
  • This is purely anecdotal, but despite my involvement in Republican politics, I am unaware of any of my Republican friends who are supporting Huckabee. I have seen maybe 3 Huckabee for President bumper stickers – and I live in Republican west Little Rock and work 2 miles from the state capitol where Huckabee just completed over 10 years as Governor (my wife says she saw her first sticker today…..guess he's picking up steam here!).

"...if Huckabee didn't have things sewn up with Republicans back home, what kind of message did that send?....The truth is that Huckabee hasn't had that much support from former and current Republican legislators." - David Sanders, conservative columnist for Arkansas News Bureau (November 11, 2007)

Conclusion:

I realize the Republican Presidential field does not leave true conservatives with much to get excited about. However, it is unlikely I will support Huckabee over any of the Republican frontrunners because of his liberal record, his questionable judgment, and his reckless use of power while Governor. Now is not the time for Republicans to compromise on core conservative values. More importantly, we need a leader with a history of using strong judgment as our nation continues to lead the world in the War on Terror.

Two final questions:

1) Given the many vulnerabilities in his record, what is the likelihood that Huckabee would win in a general election? Democrat National Committee officials have already been quoted as saying that they see Huckabee as "easy kill" and refer to him as "the glass jaw -- and they're just waiting to break it." The DNC has issued over 200 attack press releases on Republican candidates - only 4 on Huckabee, the last one coming 10 months ago.

2) Does his record as governor represent someone who should be given greater power and responsibility? Is he Commander and Chief material? Leader of the free world? National Review recently expressed concern, and Huckabee raised eyebrows with recent comments critical of U.S. Foreign policy and our role in the world - he was essentially repeating the Democrat talking points!

Feel free to pass this letter on or contact me if you have any questions about anything stated here. I have tried very carefully to be fair, accurate, and to stick to facts from Huckabee's record. But it's certainly possible I made a mistake somewhere or worded something poorly. I would be more than happy to further dialogue on any of these issues.

Sincerely,

David Thompson

Little Rock, Arkansas

Be careful with your vote, folks.

Michelle Malkin solicits questions for tonight's GOP debate on Fox News. Here are a few off the top of my head.

  • Senator McCain, will you pledge not to accept federal matching funds for your campaign?
  • Senator McCain, if you fail to win the nomination, will you support the party's nominee?
  • Governor Huckabee, three years ago you delivered a pro-immigration speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens. Do you still support the aims of LULAC?
  • Governor Huckabee, the pro-illegal immigration group Arkansas Friendship Coalition has ties to Tyson Foods, ACORN, and the ACLU. Among other things, the group opposes state enforcement of federal immigration laws. Do you now or have you ever supported the same goals as the Arkansas Friendship Coalition?
  • Governor Huckabee, why did you oppose a bill in the Arkansas Senate (Senate Bill 206) that would have required proof of citizenship to register to vote and would have also forced agencies to report suspected cases of people living in the country illegally? You called it "un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life" back then. Why the sudden change in your stance?
  • Governor Huckabee, why did you campaign for Democrats in statewide elections four years ago?

Mike Huckabee has a lot of explaining to do if he hopes to account for his very recent flip-flops on illegal immigration.

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1/12 Update: Former Huckabee research director Joe Carter asks for evidence that Mike Huckabee is liberal. I offer the information above as fodder for the conversation.

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1/12 Update: Former Huckabee research director Joe Carter asks for evidence that Mike Huckabee is liberal. I offer the information above as fodder for the conversation.

A perfect opportunity for Fred Thompson

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Jump on this, Fred. With both feet. Hard.


Why? Because you need every advantage you can dig up, and time's running out.

Fred's chances according to InTrade

Hat tip: Hot Air

Fred Thompson's immigration plan

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Fred finally offers some red meat that fleshes out the bones of his general principles. Specifically, he's published his plan to address illegal immigration (broken down into seven parts):

  1. No Amnesty
  2. Attrition through Enforcement
  3. Enforce Existing Federal Laws
  4. Reduce the Jobs Incentive
  5. Bolster Border Security
  6. Increased Prosecution
  7. Rigorous Entry/Exit Tracking

Fred also details his six point companion plan to improve the legal immigration process. Go read the Thompson immigration plan. As Dave from NixGuy says, the plan is pitch perfect.

Never let it be said that duty in the U.S. Coast Guard is a safe proposition. Here's just one of many examples of Coasties doing dirty, hazardous, and essential work.



Incidentally, I served with CDR Rick Rodriguez back when we were junior officers on Guam, and he's a consummate professional, not to mention a genuinely good guy. It's gratifying to see the Coast Guard promote such people to positions of responsibility.

New fences proposed for Mexican border

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The Secure Fence Act of 2006 made it through the House, and now heads for the Senate where it'll see a roll call vote this week. In case you're wondering where the ~700 miles of new fencing will go, just click on the thumbnail below.

New border fence

I drew the fence using the text of the bill, but I only eyeballed the endpoints. Minor inaccuracies aside, you can still see where the new fence will go if the Senate passes the bill.

I don't know where existing fences are, so keep in mind that this only shows new stretches.

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Update: Michelle Malkin is underwhelmed by the Senate Majority Leader's commitment to an up-or-down vote, not to mention funding the fence after it's authorized.

Paving the road to Hell

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Charles Krauthammer on President Bush's well-intentioned immigration policies:

The only thing that might work is a physical barrier. The president offhandedly dismisses a wall as something that could never stop the "enormous pressure on our border.''

By what logic? Opponents pretend that these barriers can always be circumvented by, say, tunnels or clandestine entry by sea. Such arguments are transparently unserious. You're hardly going to get 500,000 illegals lining up outside a tunnel or on a pier. Such choke points are exactly how you would turn the current river of illegals into narrow streams -- which is all we need to turn the illegal immigration problem from out of control to eminently manageable.

...

And is it just conservatives who think the United States ought not be gratuitously squandering one of its greatest assets -- its magnetic attraction to would-be immigrants around the world? There are tens of millions of people who want to leave their homes and come to America. We essentially have an NFL draft where the United States has the first, oh, million or so draft picks. And rather than exercising those picks, i.e., choosing by whatever criteria we want -- such as education, enterprise, technical skills and creativity -- we admit the tiniest fraction of the best and brightest and permit millions of the unskilled to pour in instead.

A real fence beats a virtual fence any day.

In a survey of likely Ohio voters conducted on April 24th that focused mostly on the U.S. Senate race, there are some interesting tidbits on immigration buried in the results. From the summary:

Ohioans are more closely divided than voters in other states over whether illegal aliens should be forced to leave. Forty percent (40%) say Yes, 43% say No, and 17% are Not Sure. Still, a majority of Ohio's likely voters, 56%, say that our policy goal should generally be to welcome immigrants who are not criminals, security threats, or exploiters of welfare programs. DeWine wins a plurality of voters who agree with that sentiment.

By a smaller margin DeWine also wins a plurality of the larger number of likely voters (76%) who say controlling the borders and enforcing existing immigration law should be accomplished before any further reform.

...

The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports April 19, 2006. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points at the midpoint with a 95% level of confidence.

Clearly these are reliable results, especially on border control & enforcement. 76% is nothing to sneeze at, so U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidates should take note.

Illustrating virtual logic

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The Senate seems determined to ignore public demand for a wall along the entire U.S./Mexican border, and instead proposes various "virtual fences" to stop illegal aliens. To illustrate the "virtual logic" of our senators, I'm going to expand the idea I had yesterday when I posted this graphic ...

Virtual fence
Virtual fence

... and take the "virtual" fad to its logical conclusion:


Virtual army

Virtual navy

Virtual air force

Virtual race car

Virtual prison

Virtual success

Virtual intellectual

Virtual president


Whaddaya think? If anybody else has examples like these, post them and leave a trackback. This could be fun!

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5/10/2011 Update: Virtual football team!

University of Michigan -- virtual football team

National Review Online has an immigration essay by Senator Bill Frist, which contains these key paragraphs:

Last year, Judd Gregg and others lead an effort to hire 1,500 new border patrol agents and build 1,800 new detention beds. The proposal we will consider next week provides nearly $2 billion to build a border fence in high-traffic areas, add new border-patrol aircraft to help police lower traffic areas, and support training for additional Customs and Border Protection Agents.

...

[Our] action now must occur in concert with finishing action on the bigger immigration bill in May. That legislation contains the full multiyear plan to beef up border-security operations dramatically, including a virtual fence that uses a mix of physical and electronic means to secure every inch of our 1,951-mile border with Mexico.

No, no, no. Wrong. Just as a virtual condom is not a condom, a virtual fence is not a fence. We want a physical barrier, not this:

Virtual fence

When it comes to scuttling one's own presidential ambitions, Bill Frist is doing yeoman's work.

My response to the open borders lobby

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Krauthammer: build a wall first

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Charles Krauthammer's latest column makes the same major point as many of us on the center-right side of immigration politics:

My proposition is this: A vast number of Americans who oppose legalization and fear new waves of immigration would change their minds if we could radically reduce new -- i.e., future -- illegal immigration.

Forget employer sanctions. Build a barrier. It is simply ridiculous to say it cannot be done. If one fence won't do it, then build a second 100 yards behind it. And then build a road for patrols in between. Put in cameras. Put in sensors. Put out lots of patrols.

Can't be done? Israel's border fence has been extraordinarily successful in keeping out potential infiltrators who are far more determined than mere immigrants. Nor have very many North Koreans crossed into South Korea in the past 50 years.

Of course it will be ugly. So are the concrete barriers to keep truck bombs from driving into the White House. But sometimes necessity trumps aesthetics. And don't tell me that this is our Berlin Wall. When you build a wall to keep people in, that's a prison. When you build a wall to keep people out, that's an expression of sovereignty. The fence around your house is a perfectly legitimate expression of your desire to control who comes into your house to eat, sleep and use the facilities. It imprisons no one.

Of course, no barrier will be foolproof. But it doesn't have to be. It simply has to reduce the river of illegals to a manageable trickle. Once we can do that, everything becomes possible -- most especially, humanizing the situation of our 11 million illegals.

Amen. Building a wall sure beats caving in to the open borders crowd, as the Senate Republican leadership just did.

If you build it, they won't come.

Call it what it is: amnesty

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Michelle Malkin's latest roundup on the Republican Senate's immigration wuss-a-palooza says it all.

I also like this handy visual retort to the open borders crowd:

gringo_bush.jpg
© 2005 Jay D. Dyson
(click image to enlarge)

As I said yesterday, build a wall first and deal with the rest later. I'll let Michelle rip the amnesty deal for me. My temper's too short on this subject to write anything temperate right now.

Build the wall first

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Cox & Forkum cartoon

I've been keeping quiet on the illegal immigration debate, because I know I'm likely to get hot under the collar and write something I'll regret later. Both of my parents are naturalized citizens, as are my uncles and aunts, and as were my grandparents. As a child of legal immigrants, I'm quite anti-illegal-alien in my outlook. That's why I've been biting my tongue. However, I'm also a veteran, and national security is my number one priority. Since the Senate has crafted a disastrous "compromise" on illegal immigration today, there's one thing I simply must put on the record now: America needs to build a wall along the entire Mexican border, and we need to do it as soon as possible.

I approach the problem as a retired Coast Guardsman. The massive influx of illegals is like seawater flooding a ship through a hole in the hull. The top priority is to stop the flooding. Pumping the water out can wait. Drying out the wet spaces belowdecks can wait. Upgrading to a thicker hull can wait. Plug the hole first. Deal with the results afterward.

This is a national security issue, not a race issue or an economic issue. This wouldn't be a "Berlin Wall"; our wall would keep enemies out, not oppressed citizens in. Our border with Mexico is our giant back door, and it's hanging wide open. Locking the front door and putting bars on the windows makes no sense if we leave the back door open. Islamists can slip into our Southwest as easily as anybody else can, and they aren't looking for jobs. No "virtual wall" will do. We need a long, high physical barrier like the one Israel built. Israel's wall drastically reduced the number of terrorist attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, and ours would make it much harder for terrorists to perpetrate a new Beslan massacre in Arizona.

I understand that making our border into a barrier will upset the Mexican government, but I care more about our national security than I care about keeping the Mexicans happy. I understand that illegal immigrants will try to find other ways into the country. Fine; we'll plug those gaps when we find them. We might want to build another wall along some or all of our border with Canada, too, and I'm willing to start near Detroit. But our top priority must be to build a long, high wall between us and Mexico. Every other immigration issue can wait.

Cox & Forkum cartoon

There, I said it.

Update: Hugh Hewitt knows what's most important, too.

Julie Myers in the crosshairs

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The blowback continues. Julie Myers, President Bush's nominee to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency under the Department of Homeland Security, looks like a baldfaced example of a political crony being rewarded with a fat paycheck for having all the right connections.

Michelle Malkin fires a second blog broadside into the Julie Myers nomination, and follows up with a syndicated column. Debbie Schlussel's latest post lifts the slimy rock concealing ICE's corruption, mismanagement, and border-enforcement laxity, and asks how Myers can possibly be qualified to clean it all up. RedState.org joins the chorus, and even finds legal support to torpedo the cute 36-year-old lawyer. The Roanoke Times posts a three-paragraph editorial that's dead on-target.

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Bush crony nominated to guard U.S. borders

Bush crony nominated to guard U.S. borders

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Julie MyersI'm happy to see that Michelle Malkin is on the warpath against Julie Myers, President Bush's nominee to head the the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Myers is a woefully underqualified 35 year old Washington lawyer whose resume reveals scant experience with immigration law ... or law enforcement of any kind. If confirmed, this youngster will report to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and she'll be running the second-largest investigative agency in the federal government. Among other things, she'll have a multi-billion-dollar budget, 20,000+ subordinates, and she will be responsible for guarding our leaky borders against terrorist infiltrators, illegal aliens and drug smugglers.

Here's the real outrage. Myers has two family connections to the Bush Administration, says The Washington Post:

Her uncle is Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She married Chertoff's current chief of staff, John F. Wood, on Saturday.

Holy freakin' cannolis! Rescind that nomination now, Mr. President, and deliver a swift kick in the rump to whoever advised you to choose Julie Myers.

Incidentally, The Washington Times jumped on this four days ago.

Hat tip: Froggy Ruminations (who rips the nomination a new one)

More conservative criticism:
Diggers Realm
Debbie Schlussel (I love the "Brunette Barbie" line)
Ankle Biting Pundits
Rod Dreher
Jack Kelly

Washington, get these folks some help

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How can our Border Patrol agents secure our increasingly violent frontiers with less funding? They sure can't look to the Army or Marine Corps for help.

Well, at least we can be happy that Congressman Chris Cannon's no longer on the House Subcommittee on Immigration, so that's one less open borders fan gumming up the works. And there's always public support for border enforcement ... just ask the University of North Texas students who created "Capture An Illegal Immigrant Day" (are you following all this, Matt?).

Michelle Malkin asks a great question about Social Security and Homeland Security.

Green card given to 9/11 victim ... in 2005

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Remember when the INS sent visas to two of the dead 9/11 hijackers? Well, the idiots in the federal government have outdone themselves. On January 15th, 2005 the Department of Homeland Security finally got around to issuing a green card to Mr. Eugueni Kniazev. He won't be coming in to pick up his card ... because he died in the 9/11 attacks.

Michelle Malkin has all the details. Unbelievable.

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